English - U.S., Chinese - Mandarin
Then according to you, one would need around 4-5000 words to read a newspaper, no? If one character=one word then my estimate is correct by your standards.Knowledge of 3,000 words would be nowhere near enough to be able to read a newspaper.
Perhaps my interpretation of "characters" is wrong, but my point is that 3000 characters is not enough to understand a newspaper article.
I myself, when I knew about some 3000 words (some 4 years ago), could roughly understand some newspaper articles. As said, it depends on word choice.